I confess. January may be one of my favorite months. Although I am not a cold weather aficionado, I cherish January in Vermont. January wraps its calm and quiet around me like a warm blanket.
This year, in late November, we are still enjoying the colors of autumn and the last treats from the vegetable garden. This is uncharacteristically late even for the Champlain Valley.
Some of winter’s most active mammals are hiding in plain sight. Many are busy after dark and even those that move at twilight are good at staying out of sight.
If the world seems quiet beneath its blanket of white, think again. Hidden in plain sight, or under the snow and ice, there’s plenty of winter activity. Here’s a window into some critters’ cold-weather strategies.
Thank you for outdoor recreation! The nicest thing anyone can do for a volunteer is to say, Thank you!
The stress of living with the coronavirus in our midst for the last six months has been alleviated in part by the opportunity for social interactions with friends and neighbors outdoors where the risks of virus transmission are greatly diminished. But the reality for those of us living in Vermont is that with the onset of winter these encounters are less feasible.
No. In fact, you are just beginning.
Yes. Looking at the vegetable garden sends the clear message that the end is near. Some late green beans, last of the tomatoes and the promise of Brussels sprouts. OK, OK, too much kale still hanging around.
When I was seven I learned to ice skate on the west side of New York City. In someone’s apartment.
The forecast mentions snow and I’m hoping I’ve done all the necessary tasks to relax and forget gardening for a few months. This is a good question: what is required to set the garden to bed for another season? This very day I placed the last of my spring bulbs in their snug homes for the winter. The last of the leaves have pretty much all come down. Fortunately, I have helpers to clear them up.
Maybe it’s the memory of last spring when the earth exploded with color or the prospect of five months with little or no outdoor gardening that renders us helpless in the face of buying bulbs. Whether from catalogues or the local nursery.
So let’s get to it!
With snow falling and icicles dripping, what’s a passionate gardener to do in the depths of February? It’s still a bit early for seed starting. The houseplants have limited needs right now. I have a suggestion: there is something I’ve found invaluable for years now and want to encourage you to try. Do you have a garden journal? How about a compendium of your special plants? I actually have both, and they are not as time-consuming to maintain as it would seem.
Let’s call this the armchair edition of Out-Doors. Despite frigid temperatures and biting winds, I have managed to cross-country ski nearly every day. But an hour or two of exercise in temperatures either side of zero does not fill these brief winter days. So I’ve been reading about the outdoors and have some ideas for your fireside hours.